Monday, October 29, 2007

Porter Wagoner is dead

In my previous life I had the opportunity to put several episodes of Da Ali G Show on DVD. These included the episode that featured Borat trying his hand at country music, and performing a stirring rendition of "In My Country There Is a Problem (Throw the Jew Down the Well)" for an Arizona honky tonk open mike night.

Earlier in that episode, the Borat character sought advice on how to become a country and western singer from Porter Wagoner. While much of the Borat schtick is based on testing the limits of politeness when individuals are confronted with a bizarre and offensive foreigner, I believe Sacha Baron Cohen (the man who is Borat, Ali G, and several other characters) more than met his match in the unflappable Mr. Wagoner. Borat's numbskulled offensiveness dashed itself on the rock of Porter Wagoner's perfect Southern gentlemanly manners. In the end, I think Cohen simply gave up, and a twinkle in Wagoner's eye suggested that he had not, in fact, been taken in at all.

Gone now. There are other people who knew him or his work better, who can pay more fitting tributes to him. But I will remember him for the time he got the better of a British shock comedian.


Jennifer said...

I saw on the AP wire a few days ago that he had been taken to a hospice. I considered putting him on my death pool list, but decided to stick with the list I have. Glad I did, otherwise I'd have to replace him - as some other players now have to do. You can't let feelings get in the way of the Death Pool!

D.B. Echo said...

Jen, two more names I thought of...I had thought of them a while ago, but then forgot:

Frank Frazetta, illustrator, artist, resident of the Stroudsburg area, born 1928, in fairly frail health (I think)

Philip Jose Farmer, science fiction autor of the Riverworld series and numerous other books, born 1918